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tv   Nancy Grace  HLN  November 3, 2009 3:00am-4:00am EST

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no enforcement mechanism, no penalty, if you will, for eithei the contractor or the @@@@@@@ @# the answer right now is there is no vehicle to force compliance. >> should there be? >> in my opinion, the answer is yes. that could either take the -- be either an executive order or
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legislation. i can't believe i'm actuallyñi asking for legislation because that's always a risky thing to do. but, yes, there has to be some sort of mechanism to enforce the compliance piece. people are trying to do the best they can. don't misunderstand me. >> i understand, but we've been messing around with this mou for a year of that. >> and you're not going have 100%. but the answer is that -- now, i don't know as we speak here right now what6&y the effect wi be with the new language that just got signed last wednesday. i could come back to you this 30 days and tell you that my counterparts have just hugged me and said we got it all covered, not worry. i don't think that's goi going happen, but we do have this transition where we have to approach now state a.i.d. . and i might add, we still have a weakness where we're talking about the big three in the area of responsibility, but there are other contractors out there that are not still part of this. if you want to get this right,
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it's every department in the u.s. government that has on to report, not just simply the big three. >> mr. ñrhutton, how would you recommend that we get the attention of the departments and agencies so that they take this seriously? i assume everybody likes s.p.o.t. or something like s.p.o.t. how do you get the attention of those agencies and departments that aren't as goodñi as some t? >> commissioner green, i would say at the outset that already there's a mandate for the three agencies to collaborate and have a common database and that would that database. at we've found in our work, that it's not particularly for usaid in afghanistan, it's not being implemented like that. that's in part our way of trying to get at that was to have this
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recommendation aimed at trying to get the three agencies to sit at the table again. i think according mags is good. >> well, it may be more than three. >> well, perhaps. but i think the three agencies that we're talking about here are the lion's share of the agencies that have activity going on in the countries. but our recommendation was pointed at having an mou and then coordinating is only one thing. you have to go beyond that. and we wanted concrete steps. wae wanted to get more charity and better understanding of, okay, what is it we really need to put into s.p.o.t. and why do we need and how will we manage by it about sglp who has the authority to direct it? >> well, right now i would think that the agency heads are responsible for ensuring that they're complying with the current mandate, i would say. >> but obviously some don't care a lot. >> well, i don't know how i'd characterize that. the fact is that they aren't embrating it. and i look at that time more from a management standpoint.
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why wouldn't you want to know how many contract ors you have in country and get a handle on that. >> don't ask me why you wouldn't want to know. thank you. >> thank you, commissioner green. commissioner charles teefort, >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to state again that because s.p.o.t. was a complete mystery to me, i'm a professor of government contracting from the yurts of baltimore law school and i did not understand it at all up you got into it from the moment that this commission was set up, so i want to state my respect for your le leadership on this particular subject. before i turn to s.p.o.t., mr. hutton the report thatñr we hav from you,h it goes on to discus such challenges with tracking
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contracts in iraq and afghanistan. and i want to speak to but that part of your report. starting on pae 24, you studied 79ñno contracts in theater tha were above a threshold and you came up with some data and some analysis that is startling andç disturb building the low level of competition. i want you to explain a little how you separate it out, but just toñno set the table, what believe is out of those 79, you found that 71 did not have full and open competition. eight did. and of the 71 that didn't, they had something that's called limited competition. you c!.rr explain huh you came with those low level of full and open competition going on? >> sure. what wae we wanted to do was try to peel back and get greater
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insight is it what was going on there there. what we did here was we wanted to take a look at and we did basically a cut of the data that we had, we wanted to go in and look at some contract files and get a sense of what does it really mean when the agencies are reporting. so we wept in it those files and looked at i think 79 of them and we found that there were a variety of reasons as to what was going on with those particular contracts. and in some cases they were awarded to contractors that were the only ones available to bring that service at the time. we found examples of where particularly for the smaller dollar one, that the agencies went out it locto loca,z,ztd fi while not classically competed in full and open term, they may haveñr gotten a few bids and
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quoequoed quotes from local firms. soget some understanding of what was going on. erall, however, thee were 97%, i believe, our contracting actions were km peted, which represented about 70% of the obligations during the '08 or first half of '09. >> if i can take that further and the number of contracts competed include as very large number of very tiny contracts like local -- hiring local help. i have,c tried to take your stu of the 79 which had a low level of competition to the next step, and i have a table that i've given you a copy of of the top ten awards in theater. i'll ask you for a little help on this. this is in the the a commission table, only one commissioner's product and no
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one else vuouches for it. but i think you understand the term of enough to give us some help. of the top ten, i could use your help explaining what the top ten mean. if the last year, awards in iraq and afghanistan,j1- it seems t four out of ten were not competed and six out of ten were what you have called limited competition and the study by the waxman committee which is the principal study after 2007 of noncompetition simply said not full and open competition. my conclusion from studying the data is that ten out of ten of the largest awards in theater were not fully and openly km peted in terms of the current aerds. i know you can't vouch for that, but can you explain a little bit what terminology we're using and
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do you have any information that's consistent with that? >> sure. we know particularly in our report that we issued in '08, i believe we had noted that there were very large task orders. i think one had almost $6 billion in obligations for '07 and i believe half of # '8. so large task orders can make a difference here. and in the case of some of the large ones that are in our scope, some of them were contracts awarded to one company after competition and task orders were then awarded on those contracts. and in those cases, there would be only that contractor that >> for example, the logcap contract, the original logcap 3, which has the two biggest awards, task order 159 and task
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order 139 currently, there's only one contractor that can obtain task orders under that. >> it's my understanding logcap 3 is one. but i would like to point out that logcap 4, there was a competition and i understand there's three firms that have u in '08 had provided some new stipulations in that'08 that sa there are any -- anticipation of task orders being issued that are exceeding 100 million that you would have to have a multiple award on that contract precisely to, you know, help inject some competition. >> okay. now i want to turn to spot and when there's a second round i want to stay with spot. you found in your report, mr. hutton, that about 25,000 or 26,000 employees were not being counted and you found numerous
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problems with entering afghan local nationals. i myself have some difficulty. i can overlook 5,000, maybe 10,000 people at once, but if you assembled 26,000 people that'sñi beyond my skill in overlooking. do you stand by the numbers? how many is being overlooked? >> we did a lot of comparison between different runs of the census with the spot and then the spot and that's where we got some of our insights, but it's interesting in that one particular example, i believe it was the corps of engineers and it was 25,000 contractors and it was something that they themselves his found, the army had found and when we went in the country as doing part of our work we try to get beyond that, how did this happen? quite frankly, forñi a variety reason, one in terms of people rotating in and out and documentation, we weren't ever able to get really good insight as to what happened, but it
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points to just the challenges in trying to get information, and i think when you do some of the comparisons that we did, for example -- >> i'm going to stop you because my time is up. >> okay. >> thank you.ñr thank you commissioner. commissioner henky? >> you've come a long way in three years. and here we are november '09 and the department has come a long way in getting its act together in terms of managing, measuring, observing contractors in theater. i give you and your staff a lot of credit for that as well as centcom for making it happen, but i want to -- i do want to ask you, mr. mozak about a statement you make in your written testimony, it's on page 5 and it's at the bottom of the page and let me quote, you say let me stress that the lack of
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registration does not pose any security liability, unquote. that's a very direct statement. i want to draw our collective attention to that and just ask you this question. do you -- are you comfortable with that statement still in? >> it's a lack of registration that does not occur. >> right. >> it is absolutely true because spot has never been nor can it be bluntly a security system. let's step back. it is a management system. we are under federal law, we have to be very careful what data we are allowed to collect for the management of civilians that are not u.s. government employees or military. we are restricted on doing that. it goes down in the united states. you technically don't have the authority to demand the cell phone number of the contractor in your office. the privacy act all must be
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considered. what spot will do in thefáxd fu. we're building this airplane as we're flying it. what spot does in the feature is if we have it in lace and we start the entire process off, people are preregistering it, the database that you can use to help populate the other way. you can go to whatever security system they choose to use and populate that system. conversely, the cac card for u.s. government employees and contractors could end up being that security card in the future. in fact, that was the vision around 2007 and 2008 which we have not achieved, but the fundamental thing inside of both iraq and afghanistan is the requirement for security on the installations and access pre-dated the development of my office or spot and in 2004,
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roughly, both vase and vats were developed for the two theaters. i've argued, why do we have two? i've never gotten a good i've never gotten a good solution to @@@@@@@@ @ @ r h rd said there on page 19, that by the fall 2008 you'll have dod contractors. let me ask youñi very simply wh happened. >> we failed.
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and the area that we wereli concentrating on, clearly, which was iraq, we did succeed. we consciously applied our limited resources to -- to associate or react. let me make sure we understand. spot is not a system of record right now. spot has been existing to this day on supplemental funding and funding that we got at the end of the year. it was accepted as a business system and one of the first systems that was accepted as a business system and that is how we've driven this is on and we're trying to become that a system of record. the fundamental question is it a dod system that everyone else is using. >> right. >> or perhaps more appropriate, is it a u.s. government system that the dod is the executive agent for? >> that has major implications of how you fund it, how you resource it and how you provide oversight because right now, frankly, dod is doing all of that in and of itself. so what happened? >> specifically in afghanistan.
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a couple of things happened. as simplistic as it sounds. 100% was a naive decision on my part. we're not going to get 100%. we're not going to get to 100% and congress recognized that in some of the thresholds. some simplistic things that happened is literally when we were told in afghanistan, we had come up with a solution set to run thumb drives all over the country. >> right. >> to pull this data in, it would be late, but we would be there and we would be able to compare the thumb drive data information and that was in the manual census and lo and behold, thumb drives became illegal because of the security considerations. >> you then have to go back and do alternate plan b which is to start cutting discs and of course, we did not have systems out there to cut discs because they were developed thumb drive systems so we delayed several months. the biggest effect, though has been the rapid increase of personnel inside afghanistan since we said that.
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we're already in a plus up of 68,000 military inside of afghanistan and we're still pending something else, but contractors obvious ly go up wih that and when you have construction like we have now we exceed the rash dwloos we've been experiencing all along. so those two components caused the big challenge. the third component was, quite frankly, as frustrating that we lo hspd-12 compliance issues with regard to everything. the homeland security presidential directive 12 set out the stage of how you're supposed to do it and in fact, we will come up with a way and we would propose to it early on and we thought we would have success in letting commercial sector folks publish their own cat cards. that failed and we're finally in a test case today, but all those things set us back. i was wrong to say that. >> let me move on to another
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question. >> i have a limited amount of time. you said the bat solution in afghanistan biometrics that you received at the end of your '09 money. how much money does it take to get the solution moving. >> it was in several millions or dollars. it was under $5 million. >> okay. but your solution going forward this year in fy-10 in afghanistan are contingent on getting your money, is that correct? >> so if that money warrant available you wouldn't be able to close that 43,000 gap down to 20-some thousand. >> that's absolutely correct. >> that's one of the institutionalization problems because if you don't have it resourced properly and you probably should have it resourced. you lucked out by having someone else's money move around. >> we've been living like this for several years. >> çóright. right. >> my last question is, setting aside the challenges you have in afghanistan with local nationals
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and 4t00 off, i'm struck by the kuwait numbers and rest of aor numbers. if you look at the rest of aor numbers, 2679 to 15,000 on the nose count, that's off by a factor of five. i mean, to me, that's stunning. my question is what's going on in kuwait if the nose count is 35,000 and the census says 17, who is not doing what? the reason is, as we discussed earlier is a differentiation today, technically in who you report in to spot. spot was required -- we were required -- we required folks to put the cdf contractors into spot. contractors deploying with the force. we did not require outside of iraq and afghanistan, we did not require that they report at the time all contractors that were
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in kuwait, but those that were fundamentally paid for in our understandingñi by the supplemental dollars because that's what congress was tracking on. you have otherñr contractors an thousands of contractors inside kuwait that are part of the baseline budget of the service, aps-5 support and things of that nature. >> so we differentiated that, but you bring up a very important point and this is, it is my assessment watching what congress has done us to up to this point that this is a meaningless distinction in the near future. >> right. >> we are operating now under the assumption that congress will direct everyone if you're a contractor to be registered inside the system. it happens to be spot and i am not convinced it is solely going the centcom aor, hence, ucom were already in discussions with us. >> i'm afraid i'm out of time. i'll have to go. thank you.
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>> thank you, commissioner. >> thank you, commissioner and my fellow co-chair commissioner shays. >> want to thank all three of you for being here. i want to thank you for your service, and i want to acknowledge up front that we have an easier task because we're just evaluating. we don't have to, in the end, do something on a daily basis and be held accountable in front of commissions and congress and so on. that not withstanding, i kind of want to scream and i'm not sure why. i think part ofñi it is is that you're almost convincing me, mr. motsek that spot is meaningless and it can't be meaningless. it's got to mean something or we shouldn't be doing it. and if we're going to do it, we should do it right and, you know, i thought -- i would like each of you to give me a sentence or two. starting with you, mr. hutton. why is spot important?
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>> okay. for us -- i don't know who for us is. >> for gao, sir. >> no, not for gao. why is it important for our country and why is it important for the war effort? why do we give a darn? >> agencies that award contracts to support either directly to the troops or some other activities in country, for them to be able to sufficiently oversee and manage the work through those contracts to avoid situations of potential duplication, i think this is where it's even bigger than dod. you have state and uscid in the same space trying toñi accompli certain missions to have a coherent strategy. >>ñr certarly the enabling capability of the contracts to fill the gaps between our force on the ground and our requirements that put them there is absolutely filled by contractor support. we have to know with predictability and accuracy what that number is soçó we can predt
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tomorrow's requirement and deliver goods and services so the baseline count and the update of that count so we know what we're providing -- >> i'm going come back to baseline and not a system of record because this is inside baseball, but thank you, both. >> mr. motsek you had a chance to make yours even share now. >> battlefield awareness. >> which means what? >> when you have half of your forces and contractors inside a battle space managing to control them. >> so half of our effort is contractors. admittedly, not the tip of the spear, mr. hutton. what we decided in congress years ago. what congress decide side we wanted our fighting men and women to be at the tip of the spear, not cooking meals, not guarding bases and not taking diplomats all around kingdom
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come. we thought wouldn't it be better to have contractors do all those things? what we have encounter side significant waste abuse and fraud and the misallocation are huge amounts of resources. so congress said to dod and to state and to aid and to anyone involved in this effort, we need to know who's there. so now you've convinced me it's important again. i was beginning to think it wasn't. so my next question involves why, if it's so important are we failing to do something very basic. i started to hear from you, mr. motsek, a reason and by the way, i appreciate your candidacy and it enables me to narrow in. thank you. you know what, you're doing the exact opposite. you're not trying to obfuscate. you're trying to help us sort this out. the bottom line, though, is that
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contractors and so on have a built-in incentive to my judgment to obfuscate. i know darn well that if a contractor wants to, he can tell you, how much he's paying them on an hourly basis and how much he's paying them to featherbed and how much he's paying them on contract and not actually working. he can tell you whether he's getting paid cost plus or out of his dollar. he or she can tell you all those things and they could tell us that, but i'm not sure they want to. so i think there's a built-in incentive to have it be really, really confusing. mr. hobby, which are the more accurate figures? the census or the spot? >> the census, sir. >> even the census and so, mr. motsek, spot is not helpful right now because it'sírñ not accurate and so my question is i'm going to ask it again, who,
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in government, has á> unfortunately the federal courts like it. >> keep going. >> the fact of the matter is that i've testified before, it's really above the level of folks who were cooperating. >> you want me to ask the question again? it's not a difficult question. who, specifically, has the authority to direct cooperation? >>ñi no one. >> no one? >> no one. >> why? >> because we're operating under
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a memorandum of understanding that was directed by congress and it's a good faith effort. you're asking me who is the single belly button to push to force compliance, and as i'veñi testified before there isn't one. >> if a contractor doesn't provide this information why the hell should they get paid? >> within dod, if you don't provide the information, generally speak, it is part of the -- it is part of both the far and defar requirements. >> i don't mean generally speaking. why should they get paid if they -- >> if they -- if they. i'm not the contracting officer. >> right. >> it goes back to my statement when i talked with you earlier before, i think the broader issue is how do you expect full compliance with eight and a half linear feet of contract requirements. >> it's very easy stuff. >> you know what? i want my money and these are the employees i have in theater.  their names and i'll give you some number next to them and these are the folks. >> if i'm the service contract
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of abdu something or other outside of kandahar and i'm hired by the u.s. government to move solid waste from point a to point b, the u.s. military's concern is that the solid waste gets picked up at a particular price and it not necessarily to be blunt about it at that level is whether it's 28 local nationals picking it up or ten. from my standpoint -- >> let me just say and the problem with that answer, and it may be a good answer, but the problem with the answer is it can go in the opposite direction is that it doesn't really matter. you will we care about is the service is being provided. >> it does matter and i'm just as frustrated as you are. it matters because there is force protection issues on the ground. a commander on the ground, if he has a goose egg of the area would like to know how many people he's responsible for protecting. he wants to know what's going in and going out and we can't get that full picture right now because we don't -- we have the pieces that they have not yet complied. >> so then let me ask you, let's
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take the example, co-chairman chase, you actually came up with 28 vice ten, that's 18 people.@r your assets and the ac@zs to
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the internet and the access to your databases and the support facilities. that's what -- that's what a card in afghanistan does, but from the broadest concept of force protection, i have a goose egg. my area of responsibility is brigade commander, tends beyond my installation. i wantçó to know what's out the and i understand what's going on and there could be a possibility. i don't know. at some point in time i want to get my arms all around these 4%. the best example i will use is the interpreters. until congress mandated it, we didn't know what was out there. you have to account for the interpreters, you have to account for every damn one of them and we do our best and that's one of the databases that is doing well. we can move interpreters around. i can't move trash guys around. >> all right. i want to say, mr. motsek, you're a great witness. you may as well call it like you see it, but i will reiterate and
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then i'll turn it back to my co-chair. i wrote down exactly, grant, the same thing you wrote in a very instant, believable manner, why do you need it? it's a force protection issue and then you redefined and i think you'll get some time at the end and you redefined security as within the base. convoys go out. military presence go out. we talked about prts and there are all sorts of activities throughout where, quite frankly, that's where most of our people are dying. that's where the military's dyingñi and it is a force issue. so you're spot on, no pun intended to the issue at hand and -- but, i just commend you coming right back at us. my co-chair? >> the on eye think what would be helpful is i think what we're doing is we're coming in two different directions. one of the directions is explaining in some reason why we
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may not need ñiit, you tmknow, just need the job done and in the other we're saying this is a matter of making sure that we maximize the afblt$ our fightin men and women to succeed. and so one of the things i think would be helpful, mr. motsek is i think at the end we started before we were asking questions. it was helpful for me to know because when you talked about not a system of record, that means that it's not in the baseline budget, correct? and what you mean by the baseline budget, it's not in the budget every year funded and you know you've got it. >> that's correct. >> and so when you don't have it and when congress doesn't pass its budget you can't spend money and you don't know quite -- >> and then you've got six months of the fiscal year to try to fill it in. it is a really dumb way to deal with a serious problem. i can buy the argument that if we need some contractors to work
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on a road that we may not want to know. it's not as important. i know how many we're building the roads other than to know that they can count on them being on our side and not against us, but then you raised a really valid reason why we would not want to know every one, and i saw it first hand on my many trips to iraq. we didn't have interpreters when we needed them. we didn't have them as qualified as they could be and i can't imagine those who were in charge of directing the activities with our troops not knowing that resource to the man or woman. so i guess what i'm coming back to and i just -- we'll then finish my time -- i want each of you to think of this answer. who could be -- i said who specifically has authority? who can help make a difference
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in our better data. i think it would help if the secretary of defense or his designees get the god damn answers. i think things would happen real quick. i think if the secretary of state did that, i think it would make a world of difference. i think if general pet ray awes said this is a high, high, high, high priority in however he would say it, i think it would make a difference. who, mr. havi do you think would help? >> and let me say i think it would help congress, mr. motsek, very directly that we need this funded on an annualized basis and if you do fund it, i -- then we will see more of the numbers you were talking about, but mr. havi? >> sir, i would answer the question by saying you havexd t answer. the help from the secretaries and execution by theñr combatan commander in central commandñ&r
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general petraeus to execute that with orders and with the implementation strategy doing a manual count or a contractor entering data into an automated database called spot and to be called tops. the execution, however, is that onus is on the military commander. if we allow that military command tore go inner agency without the top cover of the secretary of state and the secretary of defense, and i think we've put him at odds and we have not given him the appropriate authorities. >> i'll summarize by saying all three of you who have made it clear, this is very important to know what people we have in theater. this is not a debatable issue. this is a very serious issue. spot is not a meaningless exercise. it needs to work better. mr. motsek you need better resources and you need support from different folks to make sure that when you want this information you deserve it. >> the only thing i would add.
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>> i would like to end with my nice closing. >> and i'll re-affirm that each of you will get a final shot with your own nice closing. so we're okay. >> i just want to make sure that we end with that note. >> great, great discussion, thank you, mr. co-chair. i don't want to ever have to go out there and sit in front of you, i'll be in big trouble. i appreciate it. i only have a couple of minutes left each though they put five up there i used three already. i'm the accountant auditor that remembers such things and i just want to provide some comments. i absolutely support christopher's position because i kept wondering who, who, who, and i agree with him. secretary of defense and secretary of state, if after all this time it is this important, let's get out and do it, otherwise we will continue to be there and i would like to say that we've all been in school, and i did some math.
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i guess i like to do math ask keep myself entertained while a very good hearing is going, and i did the bottom leftroñhand corner on the chart and somewhere around there you can do the math and come up with spots about a 58% solution. i know the data always varies and i absolutely support the work you've done, mr. motsek in terms of putting pressure on the system. this is all about trying to get you the ability and the resources to continue to put that pressure on the system and it's not your report card. you know, if we're all in graduate school and we need the final exam to nail down our degree and everybody did the traditional 90s and 80s and the 70s and the c and so what? we would all be in a bit of a hurt and that's kind of how i feel. we're in a bit ofñió[ a hurt o
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this, and i think one of the major first steps that can be done and again, i did it this morning, mr. hobby, not to set you up, but to -- i've got great contacts down is the centcom like you have because they work for you. i called down there and i said is it possible to reconcile the centcom data that comes from the 33 points into your shop and they do a nice job of racking it up in the spot data? and the answer was yes, but it's a major undertaking to do it. well, aren't we at a point after how many sessions in front of concerning a congress and others just to be sure that those are foreign marshals? some american companies in their division, segment, small because the big companies have shown they do a pretty good job andñ. they have and we've had them
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walk us through it, but they're not the -- by far, the only game going, so i would suggest you take back the thought that maybe that reconciliation is overdue and my last comment is everybody out in the field, meaning the area of operations thinksñi the manual census ends on 31 of december because the spot's going to be ready and i appreciate mr. motsek's statement that it may not be ready. i would encourage you to take that messageñr back because as did away with it as commissioner shays said, the most accurate count, we could be in big trouble. commission commissioner? >> thank you. first a couple of quick questions. you mentioned on page 5, that doesn't apply to afghan nationals, does it?ñr i can't. i'm not a lawyer so i can't say
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the privacy act, but there are laws that prohibit us from maintaining it. clearly, we can put an afghan contractor in the database. it's the level of detail that we're allowed to put them in that's a requirement. >> i'm not a lawyer either, but last time i checked foreign nationals in their foreign countries are not treated the same way as american nationals in the united states, but we can check that out and perhaps you can answer that for the record, actually. fiscal -- in the -- you've got $5 million in the fiscal 10 budget for spot, correct? >> no. in fy-10. >> what do you have? >> i believe it's 21.5. we provided a chart earlier. we've been struggling in singleñ digits for years and this has been the big -- >> fy-10 is in the baseline budget or still in the sub. >> no. in the sub. it was the comptroller with pbd got us the dollars. >> and so is there any sense
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that -- and is there any sense that either spot or tops will be in the baseline fiscal 11 budget? do you have any sense of that right now? >> we requested it for 10 as well and didn't succeed. >> okay. it didn't succeed at what level? comptroller level? that's correct. >> okay. that's good to know. thank you. another question. mr. hobby, you mentioned that contractors when obviously you thought because you said you weren't a contractor, which i happen to be, you thought it was contractor's interest to draw -- not to leave people hanging around if a service is closed down and i think thatñi makes sense, but aren't there cases where a service is only partially closed down? >> yes, sir, there are. >> okay. so then let me explain as a contractor. if i'm a contractor and the service is only partially closed down i have every incentive to keep as many people as possible, burn up the contract as much as possible and say i'm using all those folks for the service that
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remains. so the question my fellow commissioners raised about the drawdown of contractors remains on the table. i totally grant you that if you're closing down a completeñ service at a facility or somewhere, then, yes, it's in the contractor's interest. the problem is that we're not closing down the services everywhere nor are we even closing down all of the services at the same baseñi and therefor there is a huge incentive for contractors to drag their heels as much as possible and rack up those bills and i will leave it at that and maybe my fellow commissioners will want to pick up on that unless, mr. hutton, you may have some comment on that.ñi >> thank you, commissioner. >> we made a practice over the life of the commission of issuing a special report when we learn something that is so important that we can't wait for our final report to make ever8w
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permits. i think wevj established. you've all said it that the manual count is the most accurate one and we preserved the manual count in perpetuity as a check to get spot ask spot plus? it seems to me that we've established a security issue just as we thought all along(iñ here by inaccuracy of spot to date. it seems to me that we have learned that we've got to have the secretary of state, the secretary of defense and the director of aid making a priority that these respective agencies cooperate with an executive order if necessary and fourth, it seems to me that we've learned that we have to get funding for spot in the baseline dod budget. just one final question. one thing that we haven't talked about yet is we talked about the security aspect, as i say, but we haven't talked about the potential waste that comes from the inaccuracy and an incompleteness of spot. mr. hutton, was there a gao report in 2006, december of 2006
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that said $43 million was lost to free meals and provided contractors that had been given a per diem meal allowance and just did some quick math and it @@@@@@@ some quick math and it >> i would not use meals anymore as an example because that's one
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area where we've had substantial success because we can't account for the people that get some sort of service and just as an anecdotal information, for example, when we went to the mandatory letter of authorization, the standard spot letter of authorization and centcom and their wisdom became draconian about enforcing that, we had a hold in kuwait of over 2400 contractors that could not go down range until they had the proper documentation in place. and as you know, mr. tebow,y are every time you go into a dining facility you swiped your card and that proved you were in there and we can go back and authorize that or not and your loa has a bar code. that's a good example, perhaps an example you would want to use is how well are we doing with medical care?t( how well are we doing with charging medical care and making sure we're reimbursed for the
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contracts that we're paying to being deployed. so we do have those successes that we can -- >> do we have any idea in the medical area? >> we're still -- we're trying to make placing of the jams machines mandatory inside everything. fundamentally, if we get this right, i don't care whether you're authorized a meal or not in my dining fazulity. if you're swiped and you go in there i'll bill you after the fact so lockheed martin and anyone else can bring their 200 executives through and they're not entitled to meals and we'll bill them at the billing rate as part of the process. that's relatively simple, but you've got to get the machines throughout and you have to get the business rules throughout to force that compliance. as i've told you before, we're struggling to get the readers out there and getting the compliant. we focused on xdiraq. we're now focusing on afghanistan and there's a deal there and we'll have to live with it as we get in there. there is resistance. make no mistake.
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mr. zackheim brought it up a number of times. why do i have to dump this data to you because it's another piece of work and you've got to change the culture in what we're doing. we as dod did not recognize that 50% of our force is going to be contractors in the battle space. we had to stumble in on that and i'll take your point. meals, by the way is a good news story that we can point to. >> did you have something to add? >> absolutely. we would rather have the force protection with our m rap all-terrain vehicles with the command and control items rather than waste that money on unnecessary service, and i would point out that in iraq as commissioner or co-chairman shays has said, the chain of command does have absolute visibility of those residual services that are left on fobbs
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that were deployed out of and so things that were going out there as the iraqis occupy the forward operating base. there is a direct correlation between the iraqis' ability to take over that function and the residual piece of the contract being dropped down. i just want to assure you that from an operational command and control and the sensitivity of the commander on the ground that occurrence that could occur with the residual contractor looking at many billing hours and that burn rate, as much as that is an incentive for him to maintain his profit, there is an equal sensitivity in theñ$r theater b the commanders and the operators on the ground to not let that get out of control. >> thank you. >> all right. mr. motsek, since you brought it up twice i hope you would
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clarify the record on my meals. i was given -- you may have it for the last one, but if you have it for the first two, i would be really surprised. i show everyone who has seen a cat card, this is the front of the cat card they have without a picture. that's what i was given, no picture and this is the back without a bar code. so for the record, when i went in to cafeterias, i had to talk my way,&so i would grab myself a kernel and trail behind him and said i'm with him, but you probably have mine from theñnot trip because after being unsuccessful in getting a cat card, they gave me a special cat card so i could eat. so one out of three is pretty good. yeah, with my picture on it and everything, but for the first two trips you don't see a picture there. i just say that because we had a little fun with it, that's all. >> you need a light on the august 28th, though.
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>> i know. i hope i ate well. i really like the food. the contractor does a great job, but i thought i would clarify that. commissioner green. just an observation or an opini opinion, if you like. going back to something we quickly referenced before and mr. irvin referenced it again and that is, you know, mechanically spot or tops may not be a security system, but i think when you talk about force protection, conceptually it is. it is part of a security system, no answer required. to go back to the manual census and tops spot we all know we've had difficulty to get contractors to sign up for this. we all know how difficult it is
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despite our attempt here to identify a belly button or several belly buttons who we can point the finger on. it's very difficult over the long-term, certainly to get senior people to focus on an issue like this. there were too many other things on their plate, but, you know, i wish you well in getting that done, but that being said and based on the fact that we're probably going see more and more local nationals as contractors in both countries as we move out of iraq and as we build up in afghanistan and comply with afghan first who may or may not have the need to access a military facility. mr. motsek, can you see any circumstance where you would
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maintain, retain the manual census? as a check and balance. over the long term. as i said earlier, we will not cease doing the first census until we're confident. what i foresee is not the entire census being done, but in a typical auditing faction come up with a scheme where you audit segments of the population so that you continue to have confidence in your numbers that you're producing, but i want to be blunt about it. i want to get away from that wall to wall inventory that these guys on a quarterly basis that put themselves at great risk when they shouldn't have to do that. a lot of enablersçó that requir us to do that. i have a number that i articulated that i think is right that i don't have a solution for right now. the solution may be that they don't get a visa card, but they
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get registered into the system. in other words, if you're going to be employed out at a -- at a far remote site, someone has to go out there with the biometric registration equipment, take your ira scans and take your scans and get you registered in the system like that. that may be the solution. i am unwilling to tell you that i can commit the centcom folks to do that because that's extraordinarily intensive and we recognize we have to solve it, but i don't foresee us, once we get this right having a full blown wall to wall census. i do see us through an auditing process, doing segments. >> one last, quick question. with the new language, mou language, what is your plan? what is the timeline for getting these departments and agencies not just the big three, but all of them who may play a role in this, getting them together in the same room to talk about their responsibilities.
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anybody? there's no way to force that. we have voluntary, i repeat, vol notary compliance by some agencies that have an incentive. the department of justice sees in there because it helps provide them support services. as mr. hobby sits here right now we have no legal authority to mandate that and require it. the only thing we have as we sit here right now is the 2008 ndaa that directed us to develop an mou between ourselves, aid and state and that's all we have. as i've testified before there's no enforcement mechanism behind it. >> each with a new language. >> the new language clarifies that they've got to put what they've got to put in. so we can't -- so in my mind you
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can't quibble with this pile of money that i'm spending is exempt. now virtually nothing is exempt. now we'll see how reasonable we are in getting those -- that bit of information in,ñr but that ds not address the other agencies. that only addresses those three. who should broker a meeting like that? somebody needs to. i'm stuck again. we've approached it in a number of administrations, omb. >> being the vehicle to do that. i guess in theory, nac could do it, but again, this is management. this is business and we should be able to handle it inside the --ti inside the community tt way. we have not -- frankly, we have not had success in doing that. we've even pushed a spot north
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as one of the points of light or whatever we're calling these new incentives to the president's committee up there toñr revowie a possibility because i think we get great traction if we made a decision as a nation, what exactly are they supposed to be. because every time i have an nda that comes out, it changes and our focus changes and we have to latch something else on. is it a dod system just for the three agencies? is it añi national system that we're the executive agent for? that's a fundamental problem that needs to be resolved. >> thank you very much. >> just a quick point. i think it's been pretty clear in this hearing that we're not just talking about pure management although that's critical, but we're also talking about security at large and the lives of our people. so wouldn't you say that given that that is the chase this really belongs with the national security council, possible we omb support and this is an nfc
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responsibility given that you're trying to manage three very important agencies and maybe more. >> if you use the term manage, i would agree 100%, but i've got to caution you that inside the federal government we're very explicit as to what databases are security and intelligence a business system since day one. >> except you're now going to merge it with -- >> please understand. this is a distributed -- this is a federation. i steal from any place i can legally steal from. this i trade electron, the best example and you've heard me mention it before, the best example is your atm card. when you first got your atm card 15 years ago you were proud that you would go to the local bank to get cash out. five years later you could go to
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their branches and you thought that was great. now today your atm card not having worldwide access to every atm in the world would be unacceptable. there is no single database for that. that's a distributed database where we draw and borrow information from each other and that's the model we've built and that's one reason why instead of taking eight to ten years to develop it it went out in 14 months each even without all its warts. in my level we would try to go omb as the point of contact and to my credit or to not my credit and to my counterpart's credit and state, will morer has come with me as well. he support who is the deputy assistant secretary of state who is my counterpart and he's for that as well. >> all right, well, thank you. commissioner tefer, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman.

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